Necromass (Italy) 28/09/2011
Maybe Necromass didn’t get the attention that they deserved when they began but over the year it appears that the good work eventually will be recognized. So after 12 years of absence they come back from where they stopped in ’99 with greater willingness for the years to come. I contacted with John Cordoni (guitar) and Ain Soph Aour (bass, vocals) and they talked to me about the past, the reunion and how they will continue in the new decade.
1. Hi John and thanks a lot for this interview. Firstly I have to say that I respect Necromass very much and I still listen to Mysteria Mystica Zothyriana. Do you want to give me some information about the band, the members, the journey through the underground and the split up?
John Cordoni: Necromass was born in 1992 when Carlo Bellotti formed the band, playing vocals and bass. The line-up on the first demo “Connected Body Pentagram” includes Marco Mazzoni (guitar), Massimiliano Pistolesi (drums), Marco Torri (guitar). In early 1993 Torri and Pistolesi were replaced by Emiliano Nannei (guitar) and Lorenzo Ciardulli (drums). In the month of March of the same year, Necromass became a quintet with bassist Ain Soph Aour (Carlo Bellotti only on vocals). This is the line-up on the first 7” EP “His Eyes”, recorded in June 1993. After “His Eyes”, Black Wizard replaced Ciardulli on drums and Necromass recorded the second 7” EP “Bhoma” (all guitars by Marco Mazzoni). After the “Bhoma” recording sessions Nachzerher Mara joined the band on the other guitar. This line-up remains the same until the recording session for the debut album “Mysteria Mystica Zothyriana” (summer ‘94): during the mixing session Marco Mazzoni left the band. I entered the band to take his place in October 1994, just before the album was out. This line-up remains the same until “Abyss Calls Life” was out, then Carlo Bellotti went out of the band, and bassist Ain Soph Aour began singing at his place. Ain Soph Aour, John Cordoni, Nachzerher Mara and Black Wizard: that’s the line-up on the extended tours with Dark Funeral (1996) and Sadist (1997) and recording the last MCD “Chrysalis’ Gold” (1998).
2. Why have you activated the band again after more than 10 years?
John Cordoni: We were so hungry for the stage through these years! But we had a lot of personal and collective difficulties before. We always had a great support from the fans worldwide, and also from bands, labels, promoters who asked us to have a comeback, but only this year, when the German label Funeral Industries re-released our albums, we had the definitive opportunity to comeback the way we wanted…
3. Are you working on new material at the moment? Do you plan to release a new album and when? How will it sound?
John Cordoni: Of course, we are working on new material, and we hope to have a new album in 2012. It will be very aggressive, evil, full of hate, rage and desperation. I think it will be something between “Mysteria” and “Abyss” with a better sound and some new intuitions.
4. Your older material has a ritualistic essence that reminds me a little of Death SS and a darkness of Mortuary Drape. Tell me about your music influences?
John Cordoni: Yes, we have been influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, At the Gates, Darkthrone…
5. Your lyrical concept was a mix of antichristian ideology and magic practice. Do you practice magic? Tell me how you get inspired to write lyrics.
Ain Soph Aour: Our lyrics come out from a personal and subjective vision of the reality as we perceive it ... we live in a world where hypocrisy generated by religion created dogmas, morality and ignorance. Our message is to fight against all forms of slavery, religious and moral, then intellectual. The study and practice of magic are an integral part of our existence as it is the music ..Aleister Crowley often wrote that the true knowledge, the one that can only be achieved when you embark on a magical journey, set you free and elevates you above the ground! Inspiration is a centrifugal force inside that you definitely cannot control. We can’t write on command. Good ideas come out when you least expect it and then you just need to refine…
6. Why do you think Necromass was so underrated during 90’ies? Was it a matter of label and promotion or you preferred to stay underground?
Ain Soph Aour: It was very difficult for an Italian band to establish itself on the international scene without adequate support from your label: Unisound did absolutely nothing to give us a minimum of support when Mysteria came out: so many words but no action, while Dracma Records had the problem of foreign distribution, anyway they made possible the promotional European tour with Dark Funeral in 1996 and that was good for us.
7. I’ve read in several zines that you were about to release a third full length album. Is that true and if yes why you didn’t release it?
Ain Soph Aour: After the collaboration with Dracma records, we were looking for a label that could support us in a more appropriate way and we were composing new material... We made a promo with two self-produced tracks for this purpose but unfortunately we had the split-up before completing an entire full length.
8. If I don’t make a mistake you are not one of the band’s founding members. If I’m correct why the founding members didn’t want to be involved with the reunion of Necromass?
Ain Soph Aour: You're not wrong, if you're referring to the demo "Connected Body Pentagram"; I entered the band as bassist after the demo recordings, and that time Necromass had only played live once! Black Wizard joined the band after the recording of "His Eyes", Nachzeher Mara after "Bhoma"recordings and John after Mysteria recordings ... Charles Blasphemy left the band before the first European tour with Dark Funeral (1996) and since then I have also taken his place; the line-up remained the same until the split-up (1999). When we decided to reform has been automatic for us to restart where we finished with the same people: only Black Wizard will not be in the band for personal and musical engagements.
9. Lately I’m in contact with some bands from the Italian underground and their material is really good. What is your opinion about today’s Italian Black Metal scene? Are there any bands you support?
John Cordoni: There are various very good bands from Italy such as Black Flame, Forgotten Tomb and Obscure Devotion. We will definitively support the scene!
10. You have uploaded some new photos to your myspace profile and I think that they remind me more of an electro – gothic band? Why have you quitted the corpsepaint and the overall Satanic image of the 90’ies?
Ain Soph Aour: We left facepainting before “Abyss Calls Life”, because we wanted to take distance from a black metal scene that was becoming too fashionable and inflated by a myriad of bands too much careful of their image and too little of their music! The pictures you saw on our profile are just temporary, we had that ones just because some magazines interviewed us and we had no new photos since 1998! We will have the first official photos, with the new drummer, in September.
11. What do you think about "religion" in general?
Ain Soph Aour: "There is no God where I am". I think religion is the most used tool to separate people, just think how many wars have been fought "in the name of God" or how many people were killed because they had different ideas ... The history is full of these episodes and even today people continue to support this lie.
12. What kind of music do you listen to?
John Cordoni: We are very open-minded, we listen to a lot of different genres, from Pink Floyd to Mastodon!
13. What do you do apart from music? Do you have a job, a wife or child? How easy is for you to sacrifice time for Necromass?
John Cordoni: We all have our private lives. It’s not easy to find the time to play together, but when you really want something you can find the way to reach it...
14. Have you planned any live gigs? Where? Will you visit Greece?
John Cordoni: We will play the first time at Rock Hard Festival in Milan on the 17th of September. It will be the last chance to see Black Wizard playing with us! Then we will start playing live with our new drummer in December, we’ll have some gigs across Italy first, then we hope visit Greece, we have never been there and we know there are a lot of Necromass Greek fans waiting for us. We’re looking forward to be there!
15. Tell me about your near future plans, upcoming releases or live shows.
John Cordoni: Play and write, that’s our only plan. Anyway, I think we will play various festivals across Europe next year, and we will have a lot of rehearsal to arrange new songs for our new album. That’s for sure...
16. Do you want to add anything for a conclusion?
John Cordoni: Thanx a lot for supporting us, see you live sooner or later!